Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

No "I / Me" Is Involved

Browns Valley Yogurt and Espresso Bar, California, USA

December 16, 2019

"Transformation is getting to see as a possibility who you might be really." ... 
This essay, No "I / Me" Is Involved, is the companion piece to On Reaching The End.

I am indebted to Chris Elleraas who inspired this conversation.

That one adverb "really" which suffixes Werner's source quote for this essay (see "... who you might be really"  above) is a spark capable of igniting pages and pages, volumes and volumes, and tomes and tomes of debate, argument, satsang, and discussion. The mere addition of that one adverb challenges the essential yet basic, simplistic (implying "without rigor")  questions "Who are you?" and "Who might you be?" by ratcheting up the ante. They're now not merely "Who are you?" but "Who are you really?", and now not merely "Who might you be?" but "Who might you be really?"  - not as conjecture, not as speculation, not as a wild shot ... but ... really.

The very question is strangely daunting, disconcerting. It's strange in the sense that whomever we are really, is clearly in play every single moment of our lives. Yet we hardly ever ask the question. We live taking who we are for granted, the terrible upshot of which is we also live taking our entire lives for granted. I say that's strange.

Let's zero in on one possible answer to this question - not the  answer, just one of many possible answers to "Who am I really?". But more than that, let's zero in on what this one possible answer points to  (that's right: consider that one possible answer to this question isn't its answer: it's a pointer to an experience).

To fully appreciate the experience this one possible answer points to, you first have to look and see if you're willing to examine the "I / me"  which seems to be central to our experiencing whatever we're experiencing. Furthermore, consider that this one possible answer isn't valuable when it's vocal  - in other words, it's an answer that's of only minor value when you tell me about it: rather it's an answer that's of major value when you experience it for yourself. See if you can come from  your experience of it rather than intellectualize it. Coming from your experience of what this answer points to, will give you access to something truly extraordinary.

To get this one possible answer as an experience, you have to see if you're willing to let go of "I / me" as the one having the experience. Simply put, you have to see if you can let go of "I'm the experiencer" (don't worry: it will be there exactly where you left it if you want to pick it up again later). You have to be willing to examine whether or not "I / me" is necessary to experience something. And even if "I / me" is there  during an experience, ask yourself this: is it really what's experiencing?

This begs the question ie it brings into sharp focus whether or not it's even possible to have an experience, any  experience when "I / me" is not involved (clearly this is a graduate  conversation) - or, asked with a subtly new emphasis, what's the possibility of there being experiencing when no "I / me" is involved? Is it possible?

Cut to the chase: yes it's possible, a breakthrough in fact. See if you can get from "I'm the experiencer" (in which I / me is involved) to "There is experiencing"  (in which no "I / me" is involved). See if you can get from "I'm the experiencer of the world" / "I'm experiencing the world" to "There is experiencing the world.".

I'm asserting that one powerful possible answer to the question "Who am I really?" requires a sea change  from "I'm the experiencer" (conceptual, intellectual) to "There is experiencing" (profound, transformational). Then, one possible answer to "Who am I really?" is "The experiencing"  or "The showing"  or "The showing up"  (in all three, "I / me" is neither involved nor, if you tell the truth about it rigorously, unflinchingly, is "I / me" even required). So interimly, one possible answer to "Who am I?", is the self-referential "I / me" (clearly "I / me" is involved), and ultimately the answer to "Who am I really?" might be "The showing" (no "I / me" is involved).

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